Meet the six finalists for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Meet the six finalists for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize

INDIANAPOLIS - Patricia Wright is the 2014 winner of the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation. Wright transformed Madagascar's park system and championed the survival of the island's most famous animal — the lemur — despite setbacks from timber exploitation, government corruption, and cultural barriers.

Patricia C. Wright, Ph.D.  -  Learn more about her work here.

Selected from a group of 39 nominees, six finalists were in the running for the top prize of $250,000. The remaining five finalists will each receive $10,000.

The Indianapolis Prize jury, made up of distinguished conservation leaders, determined the winner of the 2014 Indianapolis Prize. The winner will be honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc., to be held September 27, 2014 in Indianapolis.

Learn more about the Indianapolis Prize here.

Other finalists:

Joel Berger Ph.D - Conservationist working in the Arctic; has helped push research on migration ecology; has studied climate change's effects on the musk oxen. The musk ox is an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating season.

Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D. - Conservationist working in Mexico; Ceballos has been at the forefront of groundbreaking research and animal conservation. He was a key proponent of Mexico's first Act for Endangered Species, which now protects more than 4,000 animals. He has also implemented successful strategies for keystone endangered species like jaguars and the black-footed ferret — the most endangered mammal in North America. Ceballos has also spearheaded a number of revolutionary studies, including the first jaguar census in the world.

Carl Jones, Ph.D. - The Dodo, a flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius, became extinct in the late 17th century and remains one of the most evocative images of animal conservation. Hundreds of years after the dodo vanished, its relatives — pink pigeons, echo parakeets and Mauritian kestrels — came close to a similar fate. Thanks to the tireless work of Carl Jones, these species have been brought back from the brink of extinction and the Mauritian isles are experiencing a rebirth. Mauritian isles located off the SE coast of Africa.

Russell A. Mittermeier, Ph.D. - Two lemurs, one lizard, three frogs, and an ant – all of these species bear one thing in common: they're named after Russell A. Mittermeier. Mittermeier, the famed classical biologist and president of Conservation International, has himself discovered 12 new species and contributed to the conservation of some of the earth's most critically threatened places.

Carl Safina, Ph.D. - Safina is the most prominent voice for the protection of marine life in conservation today. He's led campaigns to ban high-seas drift nets, rewritten and overhauled U.S. federal fisheries law, applied international agreements to help restore depleted populations of tunas, swordfish and sharks, and helped achieve passage of a United Nations Global Fisheries Treaty and the U.S. Sustainable Fisheries Act.

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